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Reply #287: Blacksmith's forge [View All]

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what the Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #175
287. Blacksmith's forge

1. A blacksmith's forge uses wood charcoal and air to heat iron or steel red hot, sufficiently soft for shaping with a hammer. A proper kerosene fire would also soften steel. This rabbit hutch fire was small and not in good contact with the metal.

2. Heat can't escape quickly from large structures, it builds up inside. That's why underground coal seam fires are almost impossible to extinguish. The rabbit hutch was small and wide open and easily lost heat to its surroundings.

3. When Sherman's army was marching through Georgia, they destroyed lengths of railroad iron by heating the rails in wood fires and then bending the rails around trees-- "Sherman's neckties," they called them. Wood does not burn as hot as kerosene.

4. The stress that a large, relatively inflexible steel beam would experience in a fire has no counterpart in a few inches of heated chicken wire. Steel beams expand under heating and this causes deformation-- joints will fail from the stress and long lengths of steel beam will twist and sag. An amount of relative expansion in large steel beams sufficient to cause structural failure would be impossible to detect in the wire simply by casual observation. The top cinder block may have lifted up a millimeter or two as the chicken wire was heated-- nobody would be able to tell from just staring at it. This is perhaps a few percent expansion; think of this propagated over hundreds of feet of rigid steel beams that are riveted tightly to other steel beams that have not been heated and have not expanded.
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